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Erasing the Memory of Nancy Green

The latest victims to fall prey to the Cancel Culture Movement is Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth and Uncle Ben. It was only a matter of time for these politically incorrect brand news to be removed and replaced by a more appropriate progressive image. This soul-searching comes in the wake of the Pepsi Company’s announcement on Wednesday to rename it’s Aunt Jemima Syrup Brand. This decision ends a 130 relationship with Quaker Oats which began in 1889 with a black woman named Aunt Jemima who was originally dressed as a minstrel character.

Who by [the help of] faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, Hebrews 11:33.

While Quaker Oats is attempting to be socially responsible, there are actually erasing the memory of Nancy Green. Aunt Jemima was a real person based upon a woman born in Kentucky on November 17, 1834. Although born a slave, Nancy Green would eventually become a maid for a prominent family in the state of Illinois. Known for her special gifts as a cook and story teller, Nancy went on to become went on to become the first black corporate model in the United States. Aunt Jemima was Nancy Green. This opportunity opened the door for Nancy Green to earn her freedom, devoting the rest of her life to the church and fighting poverty.

Extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the devourings of the sword, out of frailty and weakness won strength and became stalwart, even mighty and resistless in battle, routing alien hosts, Hebrews 11:34.

Now that Aunt Jemima’s face and name will be eliminated, the memories of Nancy Green will likely fade as time goes by. Just like the removal of historical statues in cities in across the United States, the roles of these influential leaders will disappear from history books. To avoid a similar fate, the Bible contains a Hall of Faith. The author of Hebrews devotes an entire chapter to men and women to ensure their acts of faith were not forgotten. Hebrews 11 serves as a history lesson of individuals in the Old Testament. Just like the legacy of faith left behind by Nancy Green, the Hall of Faith reminds readers of necessary attributes that you should strive to emulate.

by Jay Mankus

The Esau Syndrome

From a historical point of view, Esau is the first boy scout mentioned in the Bible.  Although the Boy Scouts of America is over 100 years old, based upon the passage below, it appears that Isaac invested time teaching and training his son how to live off the land.  This enabled Esau to become a skilled hunter, embracing the outdoors like a contestant on Survivor.  Unfortunately, cooking was a like foreign language to Esau, dependent upon his mother Rebekah and slightly younger brother Jacob to prepare what he brought home.

When the boys grew up, Esau was an able and skilled hunter, a man of the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet and peaceful man, living in tents, Genesis 25:27.

A syndrome is a condition characterized by a collection of associated symptoms.  If you closely evaluate the life of Esau, he spent so much time outdoors that he wasn’t able to become well rounded.  This short sided approach to life forced him to become dependent upon others for meals, never taking the time to learn how to cook.  Thus, this weakness was exposed following a long hunting trip, handing over his birthright to Jacob in one irrational moment.  Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, Esau squandered the inheritance due to him upon his father’s passing.  This one bad decision has defined Esau’s irrelevant life.

Jacob had cooked [reddish-brown lentil] stew [one day], when Esau came from the field and was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please, let me have a quick swallow of that red stuff there, because I am exhausted and famished.” For that reason Esau was [also] called Edom (Red). 31 Jacob answered, “First sell me your birthright (the rights of a firstborn).” 32 Esau said, “Look, I am about to die [if I do not eat soon]; so of what use is this birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear [an oath] to me today [that you are selling it to me for this food]”; so he swore [an oath] to him, and sold him his birthright, Genesis 25:29-33.

The Scout’s Motto is to be prepared.  From a spiritual stand point, this involves advancing past elementary teachings, Hebrews 6:1.  This includes embracing the good with the bad, James 1:2-6, recognizing that God uses trials to take people out of their comfort zones.  These periods prune individuals, stimulating growth by removing dead areas, John 15:1-5.  As a former professional golfer, I spent most of my time on the weakest parts of my game.  If I just practiced my strengths, I would not maximize my ability to improve.  If you want to live a relevant life, make sure you develop all the areas of your life, not just the ones you like.  Prayer, discipline and accountability partners will help you overcome the Esau Syndrome by becoming mature and complete, 2 Peter 1:3-4.

by Jay Mankus

Forgetting to Thank the One Providing the Blessings

The expression “you don’t know what you had until its gone” often hits home over the holidays.  Each year death takes away someone or something special from our lives.  Unfortunately, when life is going well, people forget to be grateful.  Take for example the Israelites, freed from 400 years of oppression and slavery.  Yet, this wasn’t enough as hungry stomachs led to complaining and grumbling.  When God answered their prayers in the form of manna, bread from heaven, the magic of this miracle soon wore off, craving more.  As quail arrived, sent by the Lord, the Israelites forgot to thank the One providing the blessings.

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD‘s hand in Egypt!  There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death,” Exodus 16:3.

Doctors tend to notice certain details that most individuals miss.  In the case of Luke, a first century physician, his version of the Healing of 10 Lepers mentions an unique observation.  Leprosy attacks the vocal cords, limiting one’s ability to project their voices.  One of the ten healed by Jesus was overcome by emotion, crying out at the top of his lungs for the first time in years.  While Jesus is disappointed that only one person came back to thank him, Luke highlights the immediate healing experienced by this man.  The other nine took their speech for granted, yet one man did not miss the opportunity to thank the One who performed this blessing.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” – Luke 17:15-18

On Thanksgiving Day, hearts and minds tend to be fixed on cooking, football or shopping.  Instead of slowing down to enjoy life, the pursuit of happiness causes souls to search for self-gratification.  This exercise usually leads to disappointment or emptiness.  Therefore, this year on this sacred day, make sure you take the time to thank the good Lord above for all the blessings in this life.  If you don’t, you will miss a golden opportunity to prepare your heart to catch the spirit of Christmas, with good tidings and great joy to all!

by Jay Mankus

Seasoning for the Seasons

The first step to properly seasoning meat starts by bringing a piece up to room temperature.  Similarly speaking, to prepare oneself spiritually begins by putting yourself in an ideal environment, surrounded by godly influences.  When the conditions are right, the seasoning process can commence.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot, Matthew 5:13.

If chicken, pork or steak is not full thawed, spices will not fully adhere, falling off during the cooking process.  Likewise, if hearts, minds or souls are hardened, the words of the Bible will fall upon deaf ears, unable to soak in God’s truths.  Therefore, the timing must not be rushed, waiting for tenderness to maximize each season applied.

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them, Matthew 13:15.

Finally, to secure seasons to any meat, lightly brush olive oil over the surface.  This process serves as a coating, like an adhesive that holds in the flavors while on a grill.  In the same way, individuals who want to please the Lord need to spend time in prayer which seals in God ‘s promises.  When you add Bible Study and worship to this daily practice, Christians will soak in the Spirit. becoming fully seasoned for that seasons that lie ahead in life.  Start these preparations now.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Fast Food Faith

When households began to outlive their annual income, moms decided to pursue a new career.  With both parents working, the thought of cooking dinner didn’t sit too well.  Thus, the fast food revolution exploded during the 1980’s as tv dinners were replaced by restaurants and meals to go.  Subsequently, faith has followed a similar path.

There are 2 different types of fast food faiths.  One view is faith on the run.  Whether its over sleeping, struggling to find time for God or merely forgetting the Lord, individuals slow down for a quick spiritual meal.  This often involves a little devotional like Our Daily Bread, a short prayer and perhaps even a time of reflection before time ushers you off to your next appointment of the day.  Although, this is a good starting place, a life style like this will result in a lukewarm faith, Revelation 3:15-16.

The second type of fast food faiths involves accepting the reality of our culture and maximizing what restaurants have to offer.  Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek Church in Chicago, takes some time each summer to vacation in Michigan.  One of his favorite spiritual refuges is a Burger King.  Using free refills to his advantage, Bill finds a quiet booth in the back, opens up his Bible as God revitalizes him with a supernatural fast food faith.

Today, hearts, minds and souls are in desperate need of real food.  Yet, no one is forcing you to leave the confines of your own home.  With distractions only a computer, phone call or television away, perhaps you need to find a place like Mark 1:35.  You may choose a fast faith chow down and go on your merry way?  Or, for the hungry, you may prefer a spiritual buffet of biblical truth?  May the Holy Spirit fill you with a Matthew 5:6 mentality so that your fast food faith fulfills your appetite.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Finest Things in Life Take Time

For most of my life, stubbornness prevented me from trying new things.  As a result, I became limited in my hobbies, being contempt with being a sportsaholic.  This choice narrowed my scope of friends as I allowed myself to stay set in my ways.  A few stints of unemployment beginning in February of 2012 forced me to try new things, surprising me with several new interests.

Cover Photo

With time on my side, I took a vested interest in gardening as I began to dabble in cooking, using the crops from my garden as main ingredients.  A new ipad, a birthday present, spawned a desire for photography, downloading the latest apps which I used on our trip to California earlier in 2013.  While not a strength, I created some you tubes, with the most successful one being my home made salsa recipe.  As in cooking, the finest things take time, often relying on trial and error before you discover the perfect mixture, temperature and exact time.

As the prices of food continue to skyrocket, I have begun a new venture to start making some of my favorite dishes from scratch.  Recently, I have perfected a homemade recipe for french fries with a youtube in the near future.  Potato chips are still a work in process as a rotating system needs to be adjusted to get each row to bake at the some temps.  Pizza and popcorn are on the agenda, depending how tired I am with my new position at Amazon.  If you are like me, don’t let instant gratification get in the way of enabling you to achieve your dreams, regardless of the time it takes.

by Jay Mankus

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